Mother’s Day is a complicated holiday to celebrate for me. Growing up, Mother’s Day was celebrated with my parents and my brothers and sometimes my grandparents. It was always church and then lunch at my Mom’s restaurant of choice. Flowers, and cards and handmade gifts to celebrate the woman who gave her life to us daily.
After I got married and started our long journey to parenthood, Mother’s Day got harder and harder. It became a day where I was so unbearably aware of my empty womb. At church they would have the Mother’s stand up and they would receive a flower and recognition. Oh how I longed to stand with them.
It became even harder when all my friends started having kids and would celebrate their motherhood together. Their parenthood (which I was overjoyed for) was a constant reminder of my daily struggle with infertility and waiting to adopt.
Last Mother’s Day was filled with hope and fear. Hope of a baby boy who was due in less than a month and promised to be ours. Fear of a wonderful and amazing expectant mother who might change her mind.
Payton wrote me an email on Mother’s Day that broke my heart and filled it with joy all at the same time. I remember reading it and thinking how brave and mature and selfless Payton is as a mother. She has made the ultimate sacrifice to give her son the best start. She looked at Will and I and chose us for that best start. The weight of that is not lost on me.
Now today its Mother’s Day and Milo is turning one in two days. Its my first official Mother’s Day and I am feeling all the feels. Incredible joy because I get to be Milo’s mama. Incredible sadness because my joy in being a mother is only possible because of the brokenness of this world.
We have an amazing open adoption with Milo’s birth family, and I am so incredibly thankful for that. The more I get to know Payton, the more I adore and love her. When I am doubting my worthiness, she tells me how much she appreciates me and how happy she is that Milo is ours. But I know her choice was not easy and I cannot separate the sadness of that from the joy of parenthood.
In a perfect world there would not be infertility or adoption. But today, I am thankful that God redeemed two broken stories for his glory and purpose. I am thankful that Payton was brought into our lives, that she chose us to love and raise Milo, and that we get to know and love her as family. I am a mother because Milo’s first mom. Our motherhood has been shaped and modeled by our own mothers, who loved us first.
So today I held our sweet boy tighter and gave him my undivided love and attention. I will honor his birth mom today especially, but all days as I parent, love and nurture Milo. I will thank our mothers for loving us so well and for a childhood full of love and support. And I will show up every single day for Milo, whether or not I feel worthy of the title, because I am his mama.